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NFL Power Rankings Week 8

  1. Kansas City Chiefs 6-1  

Nothing to see here, the Chiefs handled divisional foe, Denver. The Chiefs laid 43 on the Broncos but it wasn’t even at the expense of some theatrics from Mahomes. Thanks to their defense and special teams, the Chiefs cruised to 6-1 and have the Jets on deck.

Next: vs. NYJ

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers 6-0 +3  

The game of the week – the two undefeateds – Pittsburgh and Tennessee: it was for the AFC #1 seed and it did not disappoint. The Steelers rolled out to a 27-7 lead as Ben Roethlisberger was efficient and spread the field with their passing attack. The Titans slowly came when Ryan Tannehill hit AJ Brown a 74-yard catch and run in the third. The comeback was near complete but Stephen Gostkowski continued his struggles as he missed a 46-yarder that would’ve likely sent the game to OT. Pittsburgh is now the last undefeated team remaining in the NFL. Next up is Baltimore for first place in the AFC North.

Next: @ BAL

  1. Baltimore Ravens 5-1 -1 

The addition of Yannick Ngakoue took the league by storm last Thursday. Ngakoue has the chance to team up with Jacksonville counterpart Calais Campbell and create one of the more fearsome defensive lines in all of football. They will be in a crucial showdown for first place of the AFC North versus Pittsburgh.

Next: vs. PITT

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 5-2 +3 

The hottest team in football for the past two weeks – it seems that Thursday night loss against Chicago three weeks ago did something to Tampa Bay. Ever since then, they’ve outscored their opponents 83-30. They can beat you with offense or defense, and Tom Brady is making it look like 2007 the way he’s throwing the football around the field. Brady finished the day with 369 yards and 5 total touchdowns; he completed 33 passes to 9 different receivers. Oh yeah, this offense gets Antonio Brown in two weeks.

Next: @ NYG

  1. Green Bay Packers 5-1 -1 

The Packers went out and dominated the Texans from start to finish. Despite the absence of Aaron Jones, the offense was clicking on all cylinders as Davante Adams finished with a ridiculous 13-196-2 statline. Rodgers had 4 TDs of his own as he outdueled Deshaun Watson.

Next: vs. MINN

  1. Seattle Seahawks 5-1 -3 

The craziest game of the year came on Sunday night football when Seattle took on Arizona. Tyler Lockett set the tone with a ridiculous 1-handed catch on the first play:

This set the tone for a bunch of fireworks. Russell Wilson threw for 388 yards and 3 touchdowns, all to Lockett (who also finished with 200 yards). However, he slowly started to look mortal in the second half and overtime when the game got a little tighter. Wilson finished with a season-high three interceptions. The Seahawks fell just short of a walkoff TD that was called back for a hold in OT. Next, they’ll take on San Fran.

Next: vs. SF

  1. Tennessee Titans 5-1 -1 

The Titans offense has been on an absolute tear in the first few weeks. But they were hit with a brick wall after this past weeks’ game. Pittsburgh had contained Derrick Henry for most of the contest and LB Robert Spillane stepped in admirably for Devin Bush. Tennessee had a remarkable comeback but it wasn’t enough as Gostkowski missed a heartbreaker with under a minute to go. Tennessee is still in great shape but they’d like to have this one back.

Next: @ CIN

  1. Buffalo Bills 5-2   

It wasn’t pretty, but the Bills will take it. Even though they struggled with the Jets mightily, they can create some real separation next week in the AFC east against New England. With the Patriots’ surprising meltdown, the next closest team in the division is Miami at 3-3 who will have a feel out stage with Tua. If they can beat New England next week, they are in the driver’s seat for a home playoff game.

Next: vs. NE

  1. Los Angeles Rams 5-2 +1 

The Rams got their first win outside the NFC east in a dominant win over Chicago. The defense was stifling, ultimately setting the tone, as the offense played solid, turnover-free football. It’s not the flashiest brand of football but McVay’s misdirection continues to wear on teams. They get to take on Tua in his debut next week.

Next: @ MIA

  1. Indianapolis Colts 4-2 -1 

After next week, Indianapolis will be entering their toughest stretch of the season. After taking on Detroit, they will be due to play vs. BAL, @ TEN, vs. GB, @ TEN. We will find out very soon just how legit this Indianapolis team really is.

Next: @ DET

  1. New Orleans Saints 4-2  

The weapons were scarce but Drew Brees found a way as they escaped with a win over Carolina 27-24. Brees looked like himself completing over 80% of his passes for two scores but they’ll really need Michael Thomas back in the upcoming weeks if they want to win. They’ll take on three of the better defenses in Chicago, Tampa Bay, and San Francisco.

Next: @ CHI

  1. Arizona Cardinals 5-2 +3 

A monumental win for Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray. The Cardinals looked like they were in for a blowout when they trailed by ten and punted the ball right away to start the half. But give credit to defensive coordinator Vance Joseph who helped settle down his unit and come up with two crucial second half/OT interceptions off Russell Wilson. The Cards defense was allowing the second fewest points per game and certainly didn’t look the part in the first half. But their play in the second half put them just .5 game back of first place in the NFC west.

Next: BYE

  1. Las Vegas Raiders 3-3     

The Raiders simply ran out of gas in their battle against Tampa. The Raiders cut the deficit to 4 in the beginning of the fourth quarter only to see Brady and co. score 21 unanswered in a romp over Vegas. Even though they’ve looked really good at times, they just have a .500 record to show for it. They go into Cleveland next week in a huge game for wildcard implications.

Next: @ CLE

  1. San Francisco 49ers 4-3 +4  

What a difference CBs Emmanuel Moseley and Jason Verrett make when they are in there. San Francisco would be first in points allowed at 15.5 if they hadn’t played with their fifth string corners for a few weeks. The offense looked sharp but the defense was the story as they completely took Cam Newton out of the game. They will have their biggest challenge up to date as they take on Seattle next week.

Next: @ SEA

  1. Chicago Bears 5-2 -1 

The Bears have snuck up to 5-1 but it all caught up to them on Monday night. Their offense has lacked explosiveness and consistency as their defense has constantly bailed them out. The Rams were able to convert on opportunities against their offense/Foles’ ineptness while wearing down the Bears defense. The Bears go into New Orleans at 5-2, but this game could be huge for wildcard implications as New Orleans stands at 4-2.

Next: vs. NO

  1. Cleveland Browns 5-2

After starting out 0-5 with an interception, Baker Mayfield had to settle in and he did just that. Baker finished the game off on a 22-23 spurt (his one incompletion was a spike) with five touchdowns. He single-handedly kept Cleveland in the game in this high-scoring affair with rookie QB Joe Burrow. He found rookie fifth rounder Donovan Peoples-Jones for a perfectly placed fade ball for the game-winner:

The Browns take on Vegas next week in a game with huge wildcard implications.

Next: vs. LV

  1. Miami Dolphins 3-3

This past week, the Dolphins shocked the football world when they announced the benching of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick for 2020 first rounder Tua Tagovailoa. The timing is a little strange considering just how well Miami is playing: two straight wins, 4th best point differential in the AFC, and their losses are at the hands of New England, Buffalo, and Seattle. Time will tell if Brian Flores’ move to Tua will pan out because the injury-prone rookie is facing Aaron Donald in his first start.

Next: vs. LAR

  1. New England Patriots 2-4 -6  

One of Sunday’s more surprising results, the Patriots were absolutely embarrassed on their home field to a decimated 49ers squad. Cam Newton threw three interceptions and under 100 passing yards for the first time in his NFL career. Only two receivers who had more than one catch as Julian Edelman continues to have issues dropping the football; the defense was absolutely torn up by this 49ers offense. This could be the first time since 2008 that New England doesn’t make the postseason.

Next: @ BUFF

  1. Los Angeles Chargers 2-4  

Words cannot describe just how absurd Justin Herbert has been playing for the LA Chargers in his first five career starts. A star is in the making as he ripped the Jaguars secondary to shreds on Sunday with 347 yards. It was also his legs that served as a difference-maker: he finished with a career-high 68 rushing yards in the W. Herbert has already put himself in that top tier QB group when it comes to arm strength and ball placement down the field with throws like this:

Next: @ DEN

  1. Philadelphia Eagles 2-4-1  

It certainly wasn’t pretty as the Eagles managed to escape last Thursday night with a win. The Eagles offense moved the ball up and down the field all night but could not finish off drives as they only scored three touchdowns in seven redzone trips. Three of their opportunities ended in no points including an interception, missed FG, and a turnover on downs. The Eagles get ten days of rest before they take on Dallas and try to create some separation in the NFC East. There’s a possibility that the likes of Jason Peters, Alshon Jeffery, and Miles Sanders all could return.

Next: vs. DAL

  1. Detroit Lions 3-3  

Who would’ve thought that it would be Detroit to bear down and score on the last play to win? Well, it was against Atlanta but nevertheless, 18 points were scored in the final three minutes in this thriller. Matthew Stafford rallied his squad to a come-from-behind victory with a touchdown to TE TJ Hockenson. The Lions are on a nice roll having won three of their last four. The next five weeks could be extremely beneficial to Detroit as they take on Indy, Minnesota, Washington, Carolina, and Houston.

Next: vs. IND

  1. Carolina Panthers 3-4  

Carolina was outgained by over 100+ yards in New Orleans but they only lost by three. Their offense grew stale in the second half scoring only a touchdown in the third quarter. The Panthers have been one of the more surprising teams in football and could be getting back franchise RB Christian McCaffrey on Thursday night against divisional rival Atlanta.

Next: vs. ATL

  1. Washington Football Team 2-5 +8 

Washington put an absolute beatdown on Dallas. It was never close as Kyle Allen and Antonio Gibson engineered a balanced attack on offense. This Washington defensive line terrorized Dallas’ offensive line with six sacks and consistent pressure on Andy Dalton all day. Although they’re 2-5, they are making considerable strides under Ron Rivera and are only .5 game out of first place in the NFC east.

Next: BYE

  1. Atlanta Falcons 1-6

Sadly Atlanta found another way to lose down the stretch as the Lions drove all the way down the field with under a minute to go. RB Todd Gurley accidentally fell into the endzone when there was an effort to milk more clock from the Falcons. At the near midpoint, the Falcons are in a prime position for a top 5 selection come April but they are playing some more encouraging football over the past two weeks under interim head coach Raheem Morris.

Next: @ CAR

  1. Denver Broncos 2-4

Each phase really struggled for Denver: defense could not contain the versatility of Kansas City, the offense’s execution was subpar throughout, and the special teams gave up the second kick return TD of the season in the NFL. WR Jerry Jeudy seems to be hitting a wall; the young rookie saw 13 catches in his first three games but has only seen 6 in his past three.

Next: vs. LAC

  1. Minnesota Vikings 1-5 — 

The rebuild is on as GM Rick Spielman elected to move on from DE Yannick Ngakoue. Ngakoue was acquired this summer for the team’s 2021 2nd rounder along with a 2022 conditional 5th round choice. He saw 5.0 sacks in his six games but was traded to Baltimore for their third and a 2022 conditional 5th. The Vikings essentially flipped their second for the Ravens third, which will probably be a difference of 40-50+ spots. It was a risky move to go after Ngakoue considering their cap situation and at 1-5, they cut their losses.

Next: @ GB

  1. Houston Texans 1-6

I’m not sure too many people would’ve believed you if you told them before the season that Houston would be 1-6 going into their bye week, but here we are. There are too many issues to overcome and they’re in a bleak spot going into 2021 without their first or second round picks. They are definitely obvious candidates to sell at next Tuesday’s deadline to try to recoup some of their assets, but the hole that BoB put this franchise in really can’t be quantified.

Next: BYE

  1. New York Giants 1-6  

Daniel Jones was nice enough to give us a perfect encapsulation of the NFC east when he was inadvertently sniped from the top row in this long run:

The Giants played the exact game they wanted; bend, don’t break on defense, consistently frustrating the Eagles offense. And the Giants offense converted on their opportunities in the second half as the Eagles were clearly running out of steam. Jones had three more turnovers as he struggled at points but it was Evan Engram that let the game slip through his fingers on a costly drop. A catch there would’ve iced it, but the Giants are now 1-6 and have Tampa Bay in the horizons.

Next: vs. TB

  1. Cincinnati Bengals 1-5-1  

The Bengals showed a lot of fight and resilience but fell just short of pulling off the upset this past Sunday. The past two weeks against Indy and Cleveland have been much more competitive and encouraging but without the wins, you can’t help but worry about head coach Zac Taylor’s security:

With Joe Burrow under a rookie deal for four more years after this season, the Bengals need to decide if Taylor is the guy they want to roll with moving forward to develop Cincy into a winner while Burrow’s cheap.

Next: vs. TENN

  1. Dallas Cowboys 2-5 -7  

The wheels have fallen off really fast in Dallas. From starting off 1-1 where they nearly came from behind to beat the Rams and then pulled off a miraculous comeback against Atlanta week two, they’ve seemed to look worse each week since then. Something changed after their thrashing against the Browns in week four where they were absolutely dominated from start to finish. Losing Dak in week five seemed to be the ultimate deal breaker as their once spectacular offense struggles to even cross midfield at this point. Backup Andy Dalton had to leave the game after taking a huge hit, but this team has huge issues on both sides of the football.

Next: @ PHI

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars 1-6 -1 

Reports surfaced before week 7 that Gardner Minshew may be benched if the losses continue to pile up. He definitely wasn’t the problem in this high-scoring affair and really, he hasn’t been a main issue for Jacksonville as of yet. This team is seeing really nice production from young talent like RB James Robinson and DT Davon Hamilton. They have enough to compete most weeks but they just aren’t in the place to win too many ball games yet.

Next: BYE

  1. New York Jets 0-7 —

Their most competitive game of the year – the Jets actually looked competent in the beginning portions of the game. A big part of that had to do with head coach Adam Gase handing over the playcalling duties to offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains. The Jets pass game is still a train wreck but Frank Gore and rookie La’Mical Perine ran the ball with a little efficiency. The duo averaged 4.5 yards per carry and provided a spark to this offense they haven’t seen in 2020. It’s a shame they play Kansas City next week.

Next: @ KC

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